‘You damaged my car’: How to avoid falling for this Detroit parking scam

Scammer asks for personal information

A new elaborate parking scam is already costing some victims big money.

This scam is focused on almost anyone who drives, especially those who may park in a public lot or valet their vehicle.

These high-tech thieves send you messages making you believe you’ve damaged their car while in a parking lot -- however, in most cases, they’re just looking for money or your personal information.

A text message can make you believe your car was involved in a crash -- but it’s a scam. The scammer wants you to think you struck a car in a public lot. In some cases your number is picked randomly but in others it may be linked to a certain lot or valet service.

In one case, the following text was sent: “You damaged my car. I need your name, insurance, and information.”

Local 4′s Hank Winchester called a number associated with these messages, and here is what he was told:

  • Hank: I’m calling regarding the accident. Where did it happen?
  • Man: Near the river, near Gucci, not far from LCA.
  • Hank: This seems very suspicious.

What should you do if you get a call like this one? If you don’t recall being in an accident, just hang up or don’t respond to the text. They may be fishing for personal information.

About the Author:

Hank Winchester is Local 4’s Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV’s “Help Me Hank” Consumer Unit. Hank works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off people in our community.